Don't You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Haddix, Margaret Peterson. Don’t You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey. Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, 2004. pap. $5.99. ISBN 978-0-689-87102-3.
Annotation: An abused and neglected young girl named Tish writes a series of truthful journal entries for an English class assignment. She shares her thoughts and feelings as she works, goes to school, takes care of her younger brother, deals with a depressed mother and an abusive father.
Summary: This book is written in a compelling first person narrative about an abused and neglected young girl named Tish who writes a series of journal entries for a year-long sophomore English class assignment. Tish shares her thoughts and feelings as she works at a burger joint with a boss who makes sexual advances, goes to school and sufferers the effects of being an underachiever, takes care of her sensitive and innocent younger brother, deals with a depressed and later absent mother and an emotionally and physically abusive father who has abandoned the family . Besides her own courage, Tish has another saving grace- a caring and sensitive English teacher who assists her in getting help.
Evaluation: This is a short, gritty novel that deals honestly with the problems of emotional and physical abuse. By touching on realistic contemporary themes and authentic problems, Haddix draws in teen readers and keeps them involved. The book sends a positive message about how to deal with difficult social problems. Recommended for ages 14 to 18.
Genre / Subject: Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Abuse, Family, School, Identity, Survival
Awards: 1997 ALA Best Books for Young Adults, 1997 ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, 2003 ALA Popular Paperback for Young Adults